Chris Gorog

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William Christopher “Chris” Gorog is an entertainment and technology executive that has served in senior leadership positions in Hollywood and Silicon Valley,[1] including as chairman and chief executive officer of Napster,[2] a top digital music brand,[3] and Roxio.

Gorog played a central role in efforts to monetize digital music downloads and streams. He oversaw Roxio's conversion to a digital music subscription and download service through the acquisitions of Pressplay and Napster. Gorog was a key ally of the record labels in the digital music market but was also a vocal critic of the licensing terms and DRM restrictions that labels imposed on digital music services.[4]

Gorog began his entertainment career as a business affairs executive at The Walt Disney Company,[5] continued his work in film and television as CEO of ITC Entertainment,[6] moved to Universal Studios as executive vice president of group operations for the Recreation Group,[7] and then on to CEO positions with Roxio[8] and Napster[9] as the entertainment business converged with new technologies.

Gorog was born in Fontainebleau France, raised in Dayton, Ohio, and graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A.S. in telecommunications and film.[10] Gorog comes from an entrepreneurial family.[11] His father, William F. Gorog, was co-founder and chief executive of Data Corp, which created LexisNexis.[12]

After ten years of developing Napster, Chris Gorog stepped down[13] in January 2010 and started to serve as a foundation to explore new opportunities in entertainment, media and technology.


Gorog led the acquisition of Napster, the peer-to-peer network that made music downloading a phenomenon,[14] in 2002. He re-launched the pioneer digital music brand as a legal music provider in 2003,[15] which became a public company in 2004. Under Gorog’s leadership as chairman and CEO of Napster,[16] the company assembled one of the largest digital music catalogs in the world[17] and expanded its global presence by offering its service in the U.K,[18] Germany[19] and Japan.[20] Napster created a number of digital music product innovations under Gorog’s management, including the introduction of portable subscriptions,[21] a free advertising supported version of Napster,[22] as well as a variety of mobile music offerings.[23]

Gorog also oversaw the development of a number of advertising campaigns for the company,[24] including “Its Coming Back,” Napster’s re-launch campaign featuring a series of original animations[25][26] that received both the Cannes Lion Award[27] and the Silver Effie.[28] Napster was also awarded Billboard magazine’s “Best Digital Music Community”[29] award for its U.S. music service.

Best Buy acquired Napster in 2008, and Gorog served as Napster’s chief executive officer until January 6, 2010.[30]


As chairman and chief executive officer of Roxio,[31] Gorog led the company’s successful spin-off from Adaptec, took the company public in May 2001 and drove the creation of the Roxio consumer brand.[14] Roxio became the leader in CD burning software, with 70% market share led by its brands Easy CD Creator and Toast.[1] In January 2002, Gorog led Roxio’s acquisition of MGI Software that expanded the company’s portfolio to include photo and video editing software, as well as the top-selling system-recovery software for crash and virus recovery.[32]

In December 2002, Gorog led Roxio’s acquisition of Napster[14] – and followed with an acquisition of Universal Music’s and Sony’s Pressplay in May 2003,[33] which served as the new technology platform for the company’s release of Napster 2.0, the revitalized legal version of the original Napster.[15] In August 2004, Roxio sold the software business in order to focus entirely on developing the Napster digital music business.[34] The company officially changed its corporate name from Roxio (NASDAQ: ROXI) to Napster (NASDAQ: NAPS) in January 2005.[35]


Prior to Gorog’s technology positions, he served in a variety of senior capacities in the entertainment business, including executive vice president of Universal Studios Recreation Group, where he helped manage Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s multibillion-dollar theme park expansion in Florida and Japan.[36] Gorog later served as president of new business development for Universal Studios Recreation Group. Prior to Universal, Gorog served as president and CEO of ITC Entertainment[5] and as vice president business affairs motion pictures and television for The Walt Disney Company.[5]

Board positions[edit]

Gorog has served as a director on a variety of entertainment and technology boards, including House of Blues,[5] Guitar Center[37] and Critical Path,[38] in addition to serving on the boards of Roxio and Napster as its chairman.[39] He also has served on the board of directors of NARM, the National Association of Recording Merchandisers.


Gorog is a member of the Young Presidents' Organization and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[5]


  • May 1, 2007 – Digital NARM – Chicago, IL: “Bridging the Gap between Physical and Digital”[40]
  • May 1, 2006 – MuseExpo – Hollywood, CA: “Unlimited access – Anytime, Anywhere”[41]
  • April 5, 2005 – Leadership Music Digital Summit – Nashville, TN: “Digital Subscriptions: The Future of The Music Industry”[42]
  • July 26, 2004 – Jupiter Plug-In – New York, NY: “The State of the Digital Music Industry”[43]
  • May 3, 2004 – Financial Times – London, England: “The Best Defense if a Good Offense, The Rise of Legitimate On-Line Music Services”
  • April 20, 2004 – Music Board of Ireland and the European Union – Dublin, Ireland: “The Internet & the Democratization of Music”[44]
  • December 8, 2003 – iHollywood Forum – Universal City, CA: "Music 2.0"[45]
  • July 28, 2003 – Jupiter Plug-In – New York, NY: "The Return of Napster"[46]
  • March 3, 2003 – Digital Music Forum – New York, NY: "The Impact of Technology on Music Business Today"[47]
  • January 24, 2003 – MidemNet – Cannes, France: "Music and Technology Back on Track"[48]


  1. ^ a b Nicole Ridgway, 03.04.02 (March 4, 2002). "Let Them Burn". Forbes. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  2. ^ Mark Brohan. "Napster turns up sales volume to $32.8 million for Q3". Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  3. ^ "Ipsos: Napster, iTunes Best-Known for Fee-based Downloading…". December 16, 2005. Archived from the original on February 23, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  4. ^ "The Billboard Q&A: Chris Gorog". Archived from the original on September 25, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Digital Hollywood". Digital Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 1, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  6. ^ "Digital Entertainment Awards". Digital Entertainment Awards. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  7. ^ "Chris Gorog Appointed Executive Vice President, Group Operations…". Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  8. ^ "iHollywood Forum Announces Digital Music Leaders Speaking at Music…". November 4, 2003. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  9. ^ "Betting it all on Napster". Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  10. ^ "Sound man: Napster Chief Executive Chris Gorog listens to Mark…". October 22, 2007. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  11. ^ "Hard-Driving Clan Breeds Three Successful Generations". Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  12. ^ Goldman, Ari L. (July 17, 2002). "William Gorog, 76, Businessman with a Bent for High Technology". The New York Times. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  13. ^ Napster CEO Stepping Down
  14. ^ a b c "Billboard – August 2003". Internet Archive. August 9, 2003. p. 90. Retrieved January 4, 2012. gorog billboard napster. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  15. ^ a b "Napster Lives Again—Sort of". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  16. ^ "Passion Works". January 30, 2008. Archived from the original on May 8, 2008. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  17. ^ "Napster Goes DRM-Free". May 20, 2008. Archived from the original on August 30, 2010. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  18. ^ Smith, Tony (May 20, 2004). "Napster UK goes live". Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  19. ^ "Briefs: Napster Germany opens for business". Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  20. ^ Napster says’Konichiwa’ to Japan Archived October 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "Napster raises revenue guidance". Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  22. ^ Napster offers free music Archived July 25, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Kim Poh Liaw (October 5, 2006). "Napster Mobile Expands Availability to More than 13 Million AT&T Wireless Customers". Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  24. ^ "Napster To Go campaign will challenge Apple iTunes' lead". Forbes. February 10, 2005. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  25. ^ "Napster Jailbreak". Youtube. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  26. ^ "Napster Hip-Hop". October 28, 2003. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  27. ^ Howard, Theresa (June 25, 2004). "Ads from USA dominate in online category at Cannes". USA Today. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  28. ^ "Winners Showcase". Archived from the original on February 25, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  29. ^ "Billboard Digital Entertainment Conference & Awards". November 5, 2004. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  30. ^ [1] Archived April 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ "Roxio CEO Chris Gorog Tells TechNewsWorld…". Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  32. ^ Veverka, Mark (February 25, 2002). "Roxio Looks to Keep Burning Up the CD Scene". Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  33. ^ "Roxio Buys Pressplay, Napster Lives". Wired. Associated Press. May 19, 2003. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  34. ^ "Sonic buys Roxio software, Roxio becomes 'Napster'". CNN. August 9, 2004. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  35. ^ Kurt Peters (January 3, 2005). "Napster tunes up new image with new "NAPS" stock symbol". Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  36. ^ "Chris Gorog Appointe Executive Vice President, Group Operations". Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  37. ^ "Guitar Center, Inc. Adds Messrs. Wm. Christopher Gorog, George…". Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  38. ^ "CEO of Digital Meida Software Leader Roxio Joins Critical Path Board of Directors". Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  39. ^ Bylawrence Carrel (June 24, 2004). "ROXI Music". Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  40. ^ Digital NARM Archived June 17, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  41. ^ MuseExpo Archived June 17, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  42. ^ "Leadership Music Digital Summit" (PDF). Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  43. ^ "Jupiter Plug-In". July 31, 2004. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  44. ^ "Music Board of Ireland and the European Union". May 20, 2004. Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  45. ^ "iHollywood Forum". November 4, 2003. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  46. ^ "Jupiter Plug-In". August 2, 2003. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  47. ^ "Digital Music Forum". Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  48. ^ "MidemNet". November 15, 2003. Retrieved January 4, 2012.

External links[edit]